Palestinian Christians seek world support for UN bid
JERUSALEM - Christian communities in the Holy Land urged Europe and the international community on Tuesday to support an upcoming Palestinian bid for non-state membership at the United Nations.
"The international community, and particularly Europe, have a historic responsibility towards Palestine's rights," said a statement signed by 100 individuals and organisations.
One of the signatories was former Latin patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, who was the first Palestinian to hold the position since the Crusades.
"We call on you to support our effort in bringing about a real peace by... supporting Palestine's UN bid," it said.
"Palestinian Christians are... an organic and integral component of the Palestinian people," it added.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Monday the motion to upgrade their UN rank to that of an observer state would be submitted to the General Assembly on November 29, in the face of opposition from the United States and Israel.
"We believe the Palestine Liberation Organisation's initiative to enhance Palestine's status in the United Nations to an observer state is a positive, collective, and moral step that will get us closer to freedom," said the statement.
Among its other signatories were Galilee-born Greek Orthodox Patriarch Atallah Hanna and the Near East Council of Churches.